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Minister Espat Speaks on Government Reform

And while the Government is looking to reconstitute the Public Accounts Committee, Minister Julius Espat who once headed that committee explained to Love News that there are several other things that need to be reformed in the way the government operates and how the public officers function.

And while the Government is looking to reconstitute the Public Accounts Committee, Minister Julius Espat who once headed that committee explained to Love News that there are several other things that need to be reformed in the way the government operates and how the public officers function.

Hon. Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “Three factors I believe are the problem. One, the political mindset that they believe they go in to tell you what to do and they are the rulers while in reality we were taught by George Price that we should be the servants. So that’s the political mindset that has to change. Second is the people that work within the public service they have to go back to where they were when you were there.”

Rene Villanueva Sr, Host, The Morning Show: “Permanent Secretary.”

Hon. Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: Permanent Secretary, everybody’s at fault within have to have a certain responsibility and they know within their system that if a political person gives them an instruction and it’s not right they have all the right to put it in writing and so that it is on record. So they also have to bear a responsibility. And then the third factor is what most people forget, in fact they don’t forget they ignore, is the private sector. Corruption will not happen to a large extent if the private sector willingly does not participate. So you see how this thing is a three pronged approach. So what we are doing and the only thing we are  doing is analyzing what we inherited and try to minimize that moving forward so that the people of Belize can have more resources to get their work done. It’s as simple as that and when you do that then some people’s names come up and then in my case I believe we have to hand it over to other organs of government to do their job. It is important that every single organ of this government does their work; the Police, the DPP, the Judiciary, all of these, the Integrity Commission that’s why we did what we did. We wrote with the necessary information to everybody that could possibly solve the problem, why? We need to test the system. We need to test if these organizations are really there to do the work for the people or if they’re just a façade. I won’t test it, they won’t test it, the people of Belize and you will test it because the information is there now in their – it’s like when you’re playing tennis and you throw the ball in their court. So we have done that, we have done our part to a large extent, we have gathered information and produced whatever we believe ,and to the extent that we can, the information necessary. We have handed it over to the Commissioner of Police, we have handed it over to the Integrity Commission and we have handed it over to the Attorney General’s Ministry. It is now up to them to do their job. And so we have to now be vigilant of that, I have to be vigilant within the ministry, the people of Belize have to be vigilant and Cabinet with it’s wisdom has to follow through. That’s how I see it. If I am wrong then I am fine to sit down on the table again and reanalyze the situation, nobody’s perfect but the will has to be there.”